“I really couldn’t care at one time if I lived or died.”

   Bill has two degrees  behind his name and he still got depressed.

Depressed Anonymous is a spiritual journey, which makes you go back into your past, find the rubbish there, and let it go.  Without the Depressed Anonymous group or a group like it, I don’t think I could function in a world as I know it.  I thank God for the people who have the courage to come to the group. They will grow and learn. There is no easy way out. You don’t change overnight. You have just got to keep working at it. I have been in the trenches with nowhere to go. I find this very common in humans. Change is very tough for us. We would rather bear so much pain before we are willing to change. This black hole is a terrible thing. I wish no one would ever feel it. It is a painful and nasty.

This is my short  story. I was down and I was out. Really I couldn’t care at one time if I lived or died. Now I do. It really didn’t matter.  I met a great woman and decided to get married. I couldn’t have done it without Depressed Anonymous. It’s a wonderful experience. I’m learning how to take care of myself. I met a lot of new friends at Depressed Anonymous. It takes time to change. You got to be willing to take time to change. It might not work for everyone. But without Depressed Anonymous, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

For more of Bill’s story and other personal stories please go to the Personal Stories section in Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition pages 110-152.

 

SOURCES:  Copyright(c)   Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition, Depressed Anonymous Publications (2011) Louisville KY. pgs. 150-152.

Copyright(c)    I’ll do it when I feel better. Depressed Anonymous Publications (2017) Louisville. KY.

The goose who missed his flight! Almost.

Albert Schewietzer shares a wonderful story about one creature caring for another. He makes this an example of how we all can have a “reverence for all life.” This is his story.

”  It happened in a park where a flock of wild geese had settled to rest on a pond. One of the flock of wild geese had settled to rest on  a pond. One of the flock had been captured by a gardener, who had  clipped its wings before releasing it.  When the geese start to resume their flight, this one tried,  frantically, but vainly, to lift itself in the air. The others, observing his struggles, flew about in obvious efforts to encouraghe him, but it was no use. Thereupon, the entire flock settled back on the pond and waited, even though the urge to go on was strong within them. For several days they waited until the damaged feathers had grown sufficiently to permit the goose to fly.  Meanwhile, the unethical gardener, converted by the ethical geese, gladly watched them as they finally rose together and all resumed their long flight.”

SOURCE: Albert Schweitzer:  Essential writings, (2005)   Orbis Books. New York. Page 164.

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I love this story. So true about all living creatures, it’s in our  DNA to care for those  who are the weakest.  Even the geese knew it was for them to be sure this little goose was not going to be left behind..no matter what. And so they waited…and waited some more, till  he was able and  ready to fly with the rest of them. As they say in the military, “We got your back.”

I believe that the story about the goose who couldn’t fly is much like the stories you and I have shared. In other words, I too have had the time when I was isolated, alone and motionless. I was totally immobilized by fatigue, fear and shame.

I became imprisoned. The key out of this prison eventually was found and I was free. I was free because of others who just like me had once  succumbed to the belief that they were worthless, useless and  hopeless. And thank God they came to my rescue and helped me learn to live again without the weight of depression forcing me to the dirt. And there you have it. They helped me, step by step, to sort things out in my life and I was able to not only live life again, but I also learned a lot about living the Twelve Step recovery way. Now we have Depressed Anonymous fellowship recovery groups  where we  are able to share our hope, strength and experiences.  If you are feeling stranded and alone, join us and fly with us.

 

 

“To live is to participate.”

“Our Depressed Anonymous program of recovery is one of hope and peace.  The more active I become in my efforts to think and act positive the more confident and free I become.” The TWELFTH WAY to leave the prion of depression. An excerpt from Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression.(2015) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

“It is recommended that if you want to be helped by our program of recovery it is best to go to at least six meetings before you make any long term commitment to whether or not the group is for you. Just  as it has taken time to get ourselves depressed, in some cases it may be a lifetime…There is a Swahili saying that states
to live is to participate.” How true this is especially if you happen to be depressed. One of the things we want to do when depressed is hide and isolate ourselves. We don’t want anyone to bother us. We want to be left alone….You will  start feeling different about yourself the more meetings you attend. In time you will be taking the focus off yourself as you listen how others are showing improvement of mood and behavior and you will discover that they are much like yourself. You are not alone. You begin to hope again.”

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Give yourself the opportunity to attend a meeting and hear how others, much like ourselves, are feeling better. Gradually, for those who keep coming back to the meetings, week after week, will begin the journey out of the prison of depression . Wouldn’t you like to try it?

“Just get on base!”

These few words are ones that all base ball players hear when they go to bat. “Just get on base.” If a team is to win the game they must get on base. They have to be able to score at home plate and rack up points needed to win the game.

In our world, we know that to recover from any problem, disaster or misfortune, we have to get back on our feet and get to work. The longer we wait to get the help we need the longer will we suffer with whatever ails us. In my own life, I know that this to be true. When I started to slide slowly down that slippery slope of sadness, I could feel, in an analogous way, my feet slipping out from under me. I was losing control. It was when I finally lost all control and could no longer get up the energy to do anything-except force myself to go to work- that I got on base. If I was to win this battle then I had to do something. It was when I admitted to myself that I was losing  it that I did something to help myself.

Because of my involvement in another 12 Step program of recovery I now knew that I had to admit that I was in trouble, physically, emotionally and every other  way. So, with the urgency that my situation demanded,  I got on base and started to walk miles every  day  I had to shake off this inner hollowness and jitteriness  that had my whole existence in its teeth. By remembering the 1st Step of the program, that “We admitted   that we were powerless over depression and that our lives had become unmanageable.” Yes, my life was more than just unmanageable-I was  totally frozen in place. I could only think about me-what was happening to me? It was a brand new experience and totally foreign to me.   I always was “in control”   and now I was totally “out of control.” Something else was running my life. I felt like the proverbial prisoner locked down in the small confining cell of my despair.

To cut to the chase here, I finally got back to a feeling of lightness in my spirit, after having  walked miles for weeks. By admitting that I couldn’t go on the way I was, I made the  choice to do something.- get on  base (work the Steps of the program of recovery). With the help of my belief in a  Higher Power, God as I understand God, I finally got moving and got better. It was slow process of recovery but it worked.

I want everyone to know who is reading this now and feeling alone that there is hope for you too. It does take time and it takes work-there  are no magic wands waved over our head and presto! we are back on the playing field of life again. No, it takes time, work and a day by day, Step by Step  program of taking care of ourselves coupled with the belief that I too can get better. With that attitude you will not only get on base but you can win the game.

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NOTE: If you would like to start your own program of recovery  having a roadmap out of your own prison of depression it would do you well to read the  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition Manual and the Depressed Anonymous  Workbook. These two excellent sources of self help are published by Depressed Anonymous  Publications and titled the HOME STUDY KIT.

To learn more about the helpful publications offered please VISIT THE STORE at this website, DEPRESSEDANON.COM.  You will be glad that you did.

The price of recovery

Many times in my past I would ask myself if I could possibly live without my addiction? I always said “yes”, I could–but not just yet. How often I repeated that phrase to myself over the years. Or I’d tell myself “I’ll do it when I feel better.” That was another favorite mantra of mine. Have you ever said those same words to yourself? It’s like if I just keep pushing it off maybe the problem will go away. But, we know that is not how it works. If you are presently reading this and in recovery you know how this recovery really works.

For me, it was told to me that really what recovery is all about is to accept the pain of withdrawal  for the short term or to choose to continually  abuse yourself for the long term. When I have a toothache I can see a dentist and have the tooth and the associated pain   neutralized or I can continue with the pain till it is unbearable and then I  must do something radical and drastic–like pulling the tooth.

I began this whole painful process of recovery with an admission. I admitted that my life was unmanageable and that my life was out of control. That was the first step. And then having admitted that, I  listened to other members of a 12 Step fellowship group and I learned how the  program worked for them.  In fact it worked so well that many of them have not fallen back into any of their old past addictive behaviors. But as you and I know, there is a price to be paid for this new way of living. We first had to admit that we had a problem. We needed help.  And we needed it now. We had hit bottom. We then came to believe that a power greater than myself could restore me to a life of sanity. Making a decision to turn my life over to a Power greater than myself really got the ball rolling. I now knew that there is a God, of my understanding–and  I wasn’t God. When drinking and drugging we had the feeling that we  could do anything–that we were immortal and God’s gift to humankind.

This is where we had to face all this garbage that was ours and we had carried around for years–we needed to take an inventory of where we had screwed up. This is   painful to have to look in the mirror and see that person who made our life so miserable. No blaming anyone else. As Pogo, the comic character tells us, “we looked for the enemy and it was us.” You don’t have to look very far do you?  We might also look in the mirror and ask, “mirror , mirror who is the craziest of us all?” I think you get it. Without a doubt it is necessary if we want to stand tall and face life past and present with hope. and a sense of peace. There is pain, lots of it –but let me tell you, there is a great sense of relief that we no longer have to live in the shadow of life but now live in the light and the good humor of freedom.   The shackles of bondage are thrown off. I am a person who is free now and able to tell my own story at a fellowship meeting  just like when I walked through the 12 Step fellowship doors and found what I really was looking for: freedom from the pain of my depression and addictions. Look for a freedom group in your area.

SOURCE:   (c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

                  (c) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

NOTE: These two books comprise The Home Study Kit. See VISIT THE STORE.

 

 

Choices: To be or not to be!

For many, just knowing that they might have a choice and be able to choose to feel differently can be a startling revelation.  I can choose to be happy or I can choose to stay miserable.  ” Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) DAP. Louisville.

The following is a story of how one person, deeply depressed told her story of how by letting go she was able to hang on.  And she not only  was able to hang on but she was able to help others and hang on  and live life to the full.

” I started sleeping more, stayed in bed mostly and let the house and the children go.  I felt empty inside. No one or anything could help me. If I hadn’t thought that suicide was the cardinal sin, I would be dead today. So one night I lay on the floor crying and praying from my heart. In the past when I prayed I wanted God to do all the work, while deep down I  didn’t want to let go of my miserable, yet safe way of life. And as long as I wouldn’t  really let go, God seemed to have no answers for me. This time though, I was at his mercy. Life for me could no longer go on this way. I prayed the most releasing prayer. I offered up my entire self to him. Nothing magical happened after this except the sudden urge to call my Church for Christian counseling. They referred me to this very affordable, warm, lady counselor, who I had seen in the past. She suggested that I start attending Depressed Anonymous,  a Twelve Step meeting. This was a great effort for me. I was SCARED AND SKEPTICAL  Since that first night I’ve been attending weekly Depressed Anonymous meetings and reading Depressed Anonymous literature. I also attend drug free therapy, attend church and church activities and continue to pray and walk regularly.  I know that my life is being richly blessed. I am also using the Depressed Anonymous literature and  listening to the people in the  Depressed Anonymous  meetings where I have received valuable tools which I put to daily use.   The moment that I read that I had a choice to stay in depression, I immediately knew that I could make the choice to get out of my depression.”

And finally, a word from Bill W., the cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous who tells us, “When we look back, we realize that the things  which came to us when we put ourselves in God’s hands were better than anything we could have planned.”

SOURCE:  Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Personal Stories section.

NOTE: Fore more information on a broad variety of subjects dealing with depression and the Twelve Steps click onto the VISIT THE STORE.

 

 

 

RAY’S TESTIMONY ABOUT THE POWER OF DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS

” What is the power of Depressed Anonymous?  Well,  first let me say that when I started attending Depressed Anonymous meetings, I went for a couple of months and then stopped.  I stopped going because my depression was so bad that I didn’t want to leave my apartment. I didn’t want to be around or talk to anyone. I just didn’t want to do anything except to crawl in a hole somewhere and isolate myself from everything. Then after about six weeks of isolation, I called the residential treatment facility where I had been a client to see if I had received any mail there and one of the members of the Depressed Anonymous  group where I attend answered the phone. I spent a few minutes talking to her and there was something in her voice that told me that for some reason, it was important for me to be at the meeting. I attended the next Depressed Anonymous meeting. After the meeting was over, I suddenly realized the importance and power of Depressed Anonymous.”

SOURCE:Ray, in his personal testimony on pages 133-134 in  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.